12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
More than a classic - a near perfect book,
This review is from: Adam Bede (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
This is a lovely, beautifully crafted book. George Eliot may (as the negative reviewer says) have rejected her low church upbringing. But her remaining affection for its principles and for the people of her childhood (Adam is modelled on her father and the Poyser's farm is a place where she lived as a child) shine through and create what I find to be her warmest and most enagaging book. It is not a book to be taken at a rush - its pace is the pace of the Victorian countryside. Adopting that pace, like the stranger who is introduced with us to Dinah at the preaching, one can see the countryside and the people as clearly as if they were in front of us, and the sense of relationship between all the characters then compels our interest throughout. It also offers from the mouth of Mrs Poyser some of the most enjoyable bon mots in fiction - though some of them (for example "folks mmust put up with their kin, as they put up with their own noses") don't necessarily reflect the modern world! Finally it is ultimately a book about kindness and the light which kindness shines around it, and reminds us that "when death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity". I always think when I read this, how much more pleasant a place the world would be if we all carried this saying with us every day.